All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Q&A With….. Anne Gracie

on March 2, 2013

The Australian Romance Readers Convention is taking place in Brisbane this weekend and although I’d love to be there, commitments in Melbourne mean that unfortunately, I cannot. So instead I thought I’d bring you a Q&A with successful author Anne Gracie who will be there and is also nominated in the category of Favourite Romance Author in 2012. Anne has recently released The Autumn Bride, the first novel in a new series entitled the Chance Sisters, published by Penguin AU. You can read my review for The Autumn Bride here.

Anne Gracie1). Hi Anne and welcome to my blog! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. Firstly, a big congratulations on your ARRA nomination for Favourite Romance Author of 2012. How did you get to where you are – writing romance, in particular, historical romance?

Hi yourself, and thanks so much for inviting me. And for the congrats on the ARRA nominations. I started writing romance, initially, because I took a year off work (part long service leave, part leave without pay) and travelled overseas, and I found myself writing fiction again. When I got home I decided to try for publication, hoping to earn my living as a writer. I hadn’t actually read a lot of romance, but had been told by other writers that it was one way Australian writers of fiction could earn their living. So I tried. It was a whole new learning curve, and I discovered so many wonderful new-to-me writers, but it wasn’t until I realized that Regency-era romances were popular that I found my niche; I was raised on Georgette Heyer.

2). Are you a meticulous plotter, complete with whiteboards, spreadsheets or detailed scenes? Or are you more the type to sit back and let the words flow? Share a little of your writing routine – where you prefer to write and anything you consider necessary for a productive time.

I’m a bit of both –I write a lot by instinct, though I also have a rough idea where I’m going. I do have a board on which I pin ideas and possibilities, and I plot obsessively throughout the writing process, rewriting and reshaping the story as I go. I love the writing process best when my characters surprise me, and I can follow them and make it better.

I write every day, sometimes on my laptop, sitting on my bed, sometimes on the computer in my office and I also write quite a lot by hand in spiral-bound notebooks. I often go to my local library to write, or to a cafe. But once the story is spinning in earnest, I stay very close to the computer.

3). The Autumn Bride is the first of your books that I’ve read – but it won’t be the last. What delights me is that you’ve written a number of series/linked books. I love a good series. Do they always start out this way, or do you find that minor characters come to life and demand a story of their very own?

Thank you, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. My first series came about because I’d written a story about the plain oldest sister in a family of beauties (The Perfect Rake). My previous editor hadn’t wanted me to write linked books, so I had no plans for a series, but I got a new editor for that book and she said, “So, which sister is next?” And so it started. But even though they’re part of aseries, all my books are stand-alone reads. I think that’s important.

I’ve written a series linked by sisters and a series linked by brothers and brothers-in-arms, and each one has started differently. The Autumn Bride is my third series, and in each of the previous ones, on top of what was planned, some character has popped up just begging for their own story. So far I’ve written a four book trilogy and a five book quartet for which readers are still writing asking for a sixth book, so who knows where this will go?

4). For someone like me, who has only just begun to discover your books (I am very late to this party!), where would you recommend a beginner start?

The Perfect Rake is a very popular book with readers and also the first of my Berkley/Penguin books, so I’d start there.

Perfect Rake5). We share a lot of childhood faves – Mary Grant Bruce and Elyne Mitchell to name just two. Who are some of your favourite authors that you love curling up with now?

Georgette Heyer is a still a favourite, but I’m always on the lookout for a new-to-me good author. I read a range of fiction; in fantasy I’ve been gobbling up Juliet Marillier and Kate Forsyth’s backlists, for contemporary romance I’d recommend Susan Elizabeth Peters and Sophie Kinsella and Mills and Boon authors Kelly Hunter and Marion Lennox. Historical authors I never miss are Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase and Jennifer Ashley. In paranormal romance I love Nalini Singh’s psy/changeling series and my most recent crime favourite is Elly Griffiths. I also love Kate Morton’s books.

6). You’ve travelled extensively, living in many different places. These days do you prefer being at home or being on the road?

I’m very lucky in that I can do both. I do love curling up at home, and it can be hard to prise me out, especially if I’m on deadline. But I also get to do a fair bit of travelling as part of my job — for instance this year I’ve got speaking and teaching engagements in Queensland and Western Australia and I also might attend a conference in the USA (deadlines permitting.)

7). As much as I do love a good series, there’s one downside and that’s waiting for the next book! Can you give any hints on the second novel in the Chance Sisters series? (Please?)

All I can tell you is it’s Damaris’s story. Sorry, but I never talk publicly about the next book until it’s finished. I’m a bit superstitious about it. Yeah, I know, it’s mean. 😉

(Bree – You are mean 🙂 But that’s ok, I’m excited that it’s Damaris’s story, there’s so much I want to learn about her!)

8). And lastly, describe yourself and your novels in five words.

Ask my friends and readers. (that’s 5 words 😉

Thank you so much Anne for giving me your time and your answers. I’m off to look for The Perfect Rake and good luck with your nomination. I hope you’re having a blast at the convention in Brisbane.

Thanks also to Chantelle, the Penguin publicist of awesome who arranged this Q&A.

You can check out Anne’s website, read her blog or follow her on twitter.

Autumn Bride

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One response to “Q&A With….. Anne Gracie

  1. Louise Reynolds says:

    oooh, The Perfect Rake. I can’t get enough of that book. In fact any of Anne’s gorgeous books. You have an absolute feast ahead of you, Bree.

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